A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Early Immersion in Minority Language Contexts : Canada and Finland (2021)

Mård-Miettinen, K., Arnott, S., & Vignola, M.-J. (2021). Early Immersion in Minority Language Contexts : Canada and Finland. In M. Schwartz (Ed.), Handbook of Early Language Education. Springer. Springer International Handbooks of Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47073-9_12-1

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mård-Miettinen, Karita; Arnott, Stephanie; Vignola, Marie-Josée

Parent publication: Handbook of Early Language Education

Parent publication editors: Schwartz, Mila

eISBN: 978-3-030-47073-9

Journal or series: Springer International Handbooks of Education

ISSN: 2197-1951

eISSN: 2197-196X

Publication year: 2021

Publisher: Springer

Place of Publication: Cham

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-47073-9_12-1

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80144

Additional information: Living reference work entry


This chapter discusses early immersion in a minority language in two bilingual countries, Canada and Finland. In Canada, immersion in the minority language, French, has been implemented since the mid-1960s and Finland introduced immersion in Swedish in the mid-1980s. As the core features of immersion education evolve in tandem with second language education theorizing (particularly as it relates to the interdependence and hybridity between and within languages), so too does the need to revisit the relevance of these core features across different contexts. In this vein, this chapter compares how changing socio-political realities in the two contexts have influenced program development in relation to three emergent areas: learner diversity, learning exceptionalities, and teacher training. It further highlights critical points of convergence and divergence in program development in the two contexts, showing that Canada and Finland have contributed to the field of early language education with complementary research findings related to a common guiding principle in both contexts – immersion for all. The two contexts, thus, have much to learn from one another in order to reach collective gains. The chapter ends with a call for ethnographic research to decipher how relevant policy statements are put into practice in early years classrooms, as well as continued empirical attention to the evolving reconceptualization of the prototypical immersion learner and teacher. Such consideration will work to optimize the universal access to immersion that is desired in Canada, Finland, and other minority language immersion contexts.

Keywords: early childhood education and care; language teaching; minority languages; multilingualism; language immersion

Free keywords: early immersion education; core program features; linguistic diversity; cultural diversity; learning exceptionalities; immersion teacher training

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 10:40